Ficlet: Bedtime (PG)
Author: R. Tom Mato
Warnings: Crying children (but they stop, finally). Kid!fic.
Notes: Just something I wondered about with all the kid!fics I've seen. Usually the patterns in who gets kidified(?) and who's left watching over them.
It had been a week. They were no closer to fixing his team and any plans to go back to the planet were strictly theoretical. He'd been in charge of three extremely well-behaved four-year-olds who had listened to everything he said without much more than a curious 'why.' Apparently one week was the marker for adjusting to a new situation and losing that obedient fear because they were anything but well-behaved right now.
"I don't want to! You can't make me! You're not my daddy!"
John, Colonel Sheppard, his *leader,* was having a hissy fit on the floor of his quarters because he didn't want to go to bed. Ronon resisted the urge to cringe at the high-pitched wails: that was weakness and children latched onto weakness and tore it apart. On the bed already, Teyla was staring and Rodney had his hands over his ears and was cringing enough for the both of them, his face twisted into dramatic agony.
"It's time to sleep," Ronon said as firmly as he could without going into what Zelenka had called his 'I-eat-small-children' voice.
Although maybe that would work better.
"No!" John shrieked, hands and feet pounding an irregular rhythm on the floor. "I don't want to! I'm not sleepy!"
Teyla sat up straighter and Ronon glanced over at her. She had that look that he was starting to realize was her diplomatic fairness expression, only thirty-some years younger.
"If John is not going to bed, then I am not going to bed." She lifted her chin and crossed her arms over her chest. It was as close to a fit as she got.
"You're. Being. Too. Noisy!" Rodney shouted, glaring down at John.
John paused in his kicking for a half-second, glaring back, then started to kick and scream *louder.* Rodney started throwing pillows at him. Teyla started shouting over John to keep arguing with Ronon. It was enough to finally make him lose his patience and he walked forward, catching the last pillow Rodney threw before it hit the ground. He held onto it tightly in one hand and grabbed John's wrist more carefully in the other. He dragged the boneless boy to his feet and slid his arm around his waist before he could collapse to the floor again.
John didn't stop his hissy fit and Ronon ended up having to shift the boy onto his hip to keep the flailing limbs from hitting anywhere delicate. He walked over to the bed and dumped his former team leader on it without grace.
"Quiet!" he bellowed, glaring at all three of them and feeling a rush of pride when all noise and motion stopped. "It's late. I'm tired. It's time for *bed.* I don't care if none of you fall asleep, but you're all going to lie in that bed and you're going to *stay* there until morning. Understood?"
Rodney's lower lip started to tremble and John's eyes were saucer-wide, while Teyla stared at him with an expression like something betrayed. Before Ronon could back up and fix his mistake, John burst into tears. Loud, wailing sobs that quickly had his face turning red. Rodney stared at the other boy as silent tears started to fall down his own cheeks. Teyla stood up on the bed, fists clenched and held angrily at her sides.
"You are a very bad man!" she shouted.
Ronon sighed and stepped forward, slipping his hands around her waist. He ignored her protests and sat on the bed, pulling her into his lap. She settled once he did so he tugged at John, who all but scrambled to his side. He had to lean to reach Rodney, but his tugs at the hem of the boy's nightshirt didn't get him to come over.
"Meredith," he murmured as softly as he could. Red-rimmed blue eyes lifted to look up at him warily. "I'm sorry. Come here."
He could see Rodney weighing his options, deciding if he should trust him, and was pleased when the boy finally crawled over. Rodney was plastered to his side and the other two were in his lap and it felt crowded, almost smothering, but Ronon didn't move. He whispered apologies and kept his excuses to himself, because he *wasn't* good at this and why was *he* put in charge of three very fragile people? He promised that tomorrow they would get Major Lorne to fly them to the mainland and they could spend the whole day with Jinto. He told them about the harvest festival that the Athosians had started having once they'd had stuff to harvest and that it was coming up soon, they should all go. He held them until they stopped crying and fell asleep.
EDIT: Holy crap, there's fanart. By jayel_fox here. Go. Look. Because omg babies!